Frog Bayou Gauge Interpretations


While we're on the subject, the Lancaster to Rudy stretch is also a great
play run for kayaks.  The quality of the surfing varies a lot with the
water level though, and it's not very intuitive.  Here's a quick breakdown
of levels and playing (based on many trips down the Frog, but please
correct me if I'm wrong):

3.3 - 3.5	Bare minimum is around 3.1, but I wouldn't recommend it.  :-)

3.5 - 3.7	Surprisingly good surfing at the first ledge below Lancaster and
at the second RR bridge (not counting the one at Lancaster).  A small but
stable surf at the surfing wave near the end of the run.  Pourover will
produce some pop-up moves for really small short boats (i.e. 3-D, X,
Vertigo).  Other boats will mostly bang rocks there.

3.7 - 4.2	This may be the best level for playing.  Nice surfing in many
places.  The first RR bridge has a fantastic beginner surfing wave.
Surfing wave near the end is smooth and easy to surf.  Second RR bridge is
great.  The first drop in Pourover is at it's best.  Vertical moves are
possible for all boats, but longer boats will still clang rocks.  The
photos on the OWP are from about 3.9.

4.2 - 4.7	Besides the first ledge below Lancaster, the surfing gets worse.
Everything seems mediocre at best.  Some squirting spots start cranking up,
but nothing is really that great.  Small, low volume boats can get vertical
at the second spot in Pourover, but the first drop is not user friendly.
It can be done, but it's hardly worth the effort.  RR bridge #2 is a pretty
good wave surf, but still not great.

4.7 - 5.5	Now the second part of Pourover is good to go.  Vertical moves
and squirts are not too hard there.  Big boats may not get much going
though.  The first part of the rapid is no good at all.  RR #2 is starting
to look more fun, and squirt spots abound.  The surfing wave near the end
is crap.  Not a good general surfing level.

5.5 - 7.0	At some level around 6.0 or 6.5 the Pourover becomes capable of
producing big enders.  It doesn't look like much, but if you can get the
bow down you'll get airborne.  I saw an old 12 ft Mirage get blown nearly
out of the water at about 6.5 one day.  RR #2 is probably the best surfing,
but there are some other waves that pop up in places where nothing was before.
Check out West Fork of Cedar Cr. at this level.  If it's up the play will
be better there.

7.0+		Don't get on the Frog!  Head for West Cedar Cr. where there is sure
to be some fantastic surfing.  At it's worst levels West Cedar has more
play in 100 yards than the Frog does in 7 miles.  In fact at 6.0+ on the
Frog gauge, West Cedar will almost surely be the better run.  I basically
never drive to Rudy to do the Frog without driving the extra half-mile to
check West Cedar.

- Fish